Even though babies are born without teeth showing, almost everyone has two sets of teeth that are formed and ready to break through the gums on their own times. These teeth are hidden out of sight for at least the first six months or so, and that’s when primary, or baby teeth, start poking through. Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there though, and even more important, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taking care of them.
As soon as you have a baby, you should start thinking about how you’re going to take care of their oral hygiene, including dental exams and other preventive care measures. Discover more about brushing, going to the dentist, and other habits that are essential to start forming at a very young age and then follow all the way through adulthood.
When to Start Brushing Those Baby Teeth
Preventive care and good oral hygiene habits start as soon as your baby is born. While many kids are born without teeth, some will have one or two teeth that have already poked through. In either case, it is necessary to take care of their mouth. If there are no teeth yet, you can simply take a clean cloth and wipe along the gums after each feeding to remove any formula or breastmilk that might have gotten left behind.
As soon as those baby teeth start coming through is when you should begin brushing them. You can find infant-sized toothbrushes or fingertip toothbrushes at most retail or grocery stores. There are also manufacturers that make a variety of different kinds of toothpaste, most of which are simply a gel formulated to help to get the little ones used to having the substance in their mouth.
One crucial factor to consider when brushing baby teeth is that no child under the age of two should have any fluoride in their toothpaste. Children that are this young are likely to swallow some or all of what is in their mouth, and the fluoride could make them sick. At age two, you can start offering them more adult type kinds of toothpaste or those made for younger children.
Children that are ages two and under only need a minimal amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice is enough. Then, when the child turns three and through age six, that amount can be increased to a pea-sized amount.
Scheduling Their First Dentist Appointment
From the moment a newborn comes into the world, new parents feel as though they are running all over to take care of the necessary medical appointments. Scheduling dental exams often aren’t what moms and dads are thinking about with everything else going on in a child’s life.
If you’re located in the Henderson, NV area, and you want to get your little one in for their first dental appointment, Dr. Ignatowicz is a friendly, family-oriented dentist that is prepared and capable of making children comfortable, even those that are still very young.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that kids start seeing a dentist about six months after their first tooth comes out, or before they reach age one. By starting your child with a dentist out early on, he or she can get used to the idea of going to see a familiar face for the rest of their lives. People are more likely to visit a place that they are comfortable with, and Dr. Ignatowicz is that family dentist in Henderson, NV.
Steps to a Healthy Mouth
The necessary steps to follow for a healthy mouth include preventative care that keeps problems from starting in the first place or stopping any present issues from getting worse. The fundamental actions that you should include in your daily routine include:
- Going for dental exams every six months, or as often your dentist recommends
- Brushing your teeth and tongue at least twice a day or after each meal if feasible
- Flossing at least once a day
- Eating healthy foods
- Checking your mouth for any suspicious issues
- Staying away from tobacco products
If you follow these steps and do them correctly, you shouldn’t have any significant problems with your oral health. If at any time you are concerned or have questions, don’t forget that Dr. Ignatowicz helpful staff is always available to assist you.
Proper Brushing Habits
You’ve probably been hearing it your entire life, but you must brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. That doesn’t mean that you can just scrub a brush around your mouth for a few seconds and call it done though. There is a right way and a wrong way to brush your teeth and take care of your oral hygiene. The earlier you establish these brushing habits, the better it’s going to be.
First, the time you should spend when you’re brushing is 120 seconds in total. You can get a timer to put in your bathroom, set one on your phone, or purchase a toothbrush that has a timer on it already. Many children’s toothbrushes have lights or even songs that will play for the length of time they should be brushing as well.
After putting a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush, look at your mouth, and break it up into four different segments. There are left and right, and top and bottom. Each section should get 30 seconds of attention. Start at a 45-degree angle at the gumline. Then gently move the brush back and forth on the outer side, inner side, and chewing surface before moving on to the next. Continue along until every tooth has been thoroughly brushed and your 2-minute timer expires.
If you wish, you can brush your tongue gently after your teeth have been taken care of. Don’t forget that preventive care also includes flossing in between the teeth and reaching those areas that your toothbrush can’t. You may have to help young children with this step. Flossers are an option that many little ones seem to have an easier time with. Make sure you use a toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association so you can be confident it’s working.
Regular Dental Visits
If at any time you have questions about the steps you should be taking for preventive care and good oral hygiene, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Dr. Ignatowicz’s dental office are available and more than willing to assist you. All you have to do is call them up and make an appointment that is convenient for you and your family. After you become a patient with us, we will remind you of when it’s time to come back for another checkup.
During these checkups, we will do the necessary cleaning and evaluation of you or your child’s oral health. If something is starting to cause a problem, or if there is a procedure that we can do to keep your teeth in their existing condition longer instead of letting them deteriorate, we will take care of it right away.
Rest assured that our dental staff will let you know what all your options are, and we will never suggest a procedure that you don’t need.
Taking Care of it Now
If your child is complaining of mouth pain, or if you’re feeling any discomfort yourself, now is the time to get in and see us. You don’t want to leave dental care on the back burner. Your oral health and hygiene are an essential part of your overall health and well-being. When your mouth isn’t in good shape, the rest of your body will eventually start to suffer.
Children that have never been to the dentist or those that are just reaching the age that it’s suggested they go need to have an appointment made right away. Your child could be having problems with their teeth, gums, or mouth that they don’t know how to express to you. Our professionals know what the common issues are and what to look for. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your babies are healthy not only as far as what you can see, but they are cleared by a licensed and certified dentist as well in areas that you can’t see.
Good Habits for Life
You are responsible for teaching your children the right path to take in life, and that includes taking care of their oral health. By starting with the proper dental care early on, he or she is more likely to carry out those same habits for the rest of their lives. Not only is it going to ensure that they have a beautiful and healthy smile, but it can also save you from having to spend additional money on dental procedures to fix something that could have been prevented in the first place.
Dr. Ignatowicz makes kids that are scared or anxious about going to the dentist more relaxed. The dentist office doesn’t have to be a scary place to be, and our office will do whatever it takes to make it stress-free for kids, parents, and every other patient that walks through the front door. After going to the dentist becomes part of the regular routine, it isn’t something that will be feared quite so much anymore.
Grow Healthy Habits with Dr. Ignatowicz
Dr. Ignatowicz and his staff are eager to meet your children for their first dental exams, and they want to continue to serve you and your family if you are in the Henderson, NV area. If you haven’t made a dental appointment to see us yet, now is the time to get started on living with a healthier mouth and a smile you can be proud to show off.